Surely. Say it cannot be! Surely narcissism doesn’t taint and tarnish the delightful relationship between man and his best friend, the wagging tail and cold snuffly nose of canis lupus familiaris (dogs). But it does, y’know. Narcissism affects e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.
Once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away there lived a narcissist. You’ve met him already. His name was Speedy and he had a troubled relationship with dogs.
Fight to the Finish
On this particular day almost 30 years ago, Speedy got down on the floor to have a right ol’ tussle with his brother-in-law’s dog. We’ll call her Tootsie although that wasn’t her name.
Now, it’d been some time since Speedy had played with a dog. As a kid he’d had a dog. It bit him. He got so mad he bit it back. But he never let his kids have a dog…or any pets at all, for that matter. If they’d had a pet, they might’ve been better off, less PTSD traumatized. But alas, pets were verboden.
Well, one thing led to another. Instead of a game, the tussle turned serious. The more Speedy wrestled with Tootsie, the more upset Tootsie got. Now, don’t get me wrong, Tootsie was a good, sweet dog…but she was being worked up way too much.
Snarling! Showing her teeth! Frantic! Playing began to verge on serious fighting. And the more Speedy wrestled with Tootsie, the more upset Speedy’s brother-in-law became. And rightly so! Tootsie was his girl!
When it was all over, Speedy told his family that he was merely trying to show them how to dominate a dog and win in a dogfight. That’s what he always said, especially when he was out-of-line. He always said he was demonstrating proper behavior as an example to show other people how to live. Not for nothing was Speedy known as THE MASTER OF RATIONALIZATION.
Almost 30 years passed before Speedy had any contact with a dog again. Now, being a dyed-in-the-fur dog person myself, I don’t think a dogless (or catless) existence is one worth living. But, then again, I’m a crazy dog woman and that’s just my opinion.
Now on this particular day, Speedy’s 30-something child announced their intention of getting a dog just as soon as they moved into their own townhome. In fact, they said, it was a condition of home ownership. If a Homeowner’s Association outlawed pets, it was a deal breaker and they’d look elsewhere for a townhome. Speedy might’ve thought this was a bit silly because he sat his adult kid down at the kitchen table for the The Talk.
For once, The Talk wasn’t about sex. No, it was about dogs. “Dogs eat their own poop,” Speedy said gravely and sadly. “When they do, they might have to be put down.” Other relatives, including Tootsie’s master, got on board. “Don’t get a dog!” they all said, “it’ll ruin your new home!”
Need for Speed
Luckily for this story, Speedy’s kid disregarded all that advice as the stinkin’ crap it was. They got a dog. An adorable tiny ball of fluffy white fur who chewed through everything (including the vacuum cleaner chord), stole an entire block of cheese, took three months to house-train and was generally unbearably adorable!
Now, as all of you dog lovers know, there’s nothing quite so fast as a puppy. They’re fast in a straight line and even faster running in a circle. If you want to catch a puppy, sit still, make cooing sounds and offer treats. Chasing them is futile. Any normal person knows that. They also know that dogs must be wooed and loved into respecting their Master, not dominated, traumatized and vanquished.
But, as we’ve seen, normalcy and Speedy weren’t exactly on speaking terms. Speedy loved playing with his grandpuppy but, at some point, the instinct for fun metamorphosized into the narcissistic need to “win at all cost.” Apparently, Speedy hadn’t learned anything in three decades.
Imagine to yourself a tall quinquagenarian, bent double, running around in an ever-tightening circle chasing a white fuzzy barking flash-of-greased-lightning, hands outstretched, determined to win and catch his yapping grandpuppy at all cost. Have you ever seen a more ridiculous site!? Is it any wonder than Speedy “strained a muscle” and limped painfully around his office for the next few days!?
Did he wrongfully blame the dog? Or rightfully blame himself? We’ll never know.
It’s poetic justice that when Speedy’s kid adopted another dog from the Humane Society, a traumatized doxiepoo with canine PTSD, the new puppy took one look at Speedy, launched herself at him and came “this close” to biting him square in the ass.
The Moral of the Story
The moral of that story is that narcissists need to dominate, to win, to triumph at all cost. They must win regardless of the effects, the physical pain or even the species…even if that species is Man’s Best Friend. We see this need to dominate in their relationships with their spouses, their kids…even canis lupus familiaris.
And Speedy lived unhappily ever after…and still doesn’t have a dog.